University: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA
City: Santa Barbara
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: economics
Study type: semester abroad
In western North America, UCSB is located directly on the sea. A former military base from WWII. The name UC Santa Barbara is a bit misleading as the university is actually a little outside of Santa Barbara. However, the city center can still be reached within 15 minutes using local public transport. In general, I was very positively surprised by the public transport system in Santa Barbara during my stay. It definitely doesn’t offer a real reason to buy a car here. See mcat-test-centers for North Park University.
One can only say that downtown Santa Barbara is a tourist magnet. During the day you will find hundreds of fashion shops and shops for things that nobody really needs and in the evening some very good nightclubs (entrance only over 21 – California State Law). From Isla Vista (student town that borders directly on the UCSB campus) there are special buses that drive to the front door of the clubs mentioned and also pick them up again at previously defined times for just $10.
Taxis are potentially not recommended here, since the prices are quite high (unless you negotiate longer)
. The UCSB itself offers a medium-sized campus that offers a great deal of variability. Next to old-fashioned buildings there are futuristic complexes. The campus didn’t make much of an impression on some of the people I spoke to.
The lectures I attended were in the field of economics and global studies. My professors were all very experienced in their fields and were able to inspire their students for the subject. While the level was relatively low in the field of global studies, life was not all that easy in the field of economics.
At this point, a direct warning to business administration students from Germany. UCSB is currently reducing the overall selection of ECON (economics) courses. This was a necessary action due to budget cuts.
I felt this myself when I was looking for my ECON courses.
This also brings me to the somewhat strenuous way of choosing your course at UCSB. Courses (unless extensions) are not distributed to international students before the start of the semester. This means that most of the courses that you now have to “crash” are often already very full. Strong nerves and perseverance are required here. A good tip is to get the email address of the professors and write to them directly. The UCSB Extension Office certainly had some problems with the flood of foreigners during my year.
Since the dorms on campus are reserved for local students, we foreigners mostly live in Isla Vista. This is a party town inhabited by students. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, you’ve come to the wrong place, because the parties run everywhere from Thursday to Sunday, even during the semester. I can only give a limited amount of wise advice regarding accommodation here. On the one hand it is a huge advantage to secure your accommodation from Germany, on the other hand you cannot check the circumstances in the apartments in this case. Most of the apartments in Isla Vista resemble pictures from the series “Germany, your Messis”. However, you get used to it relatively quickly.
It is definitely recommended to create and search for offers on the official housing page (UCSB Housing). Some of my acquaintances have found their home over here.
“Shopping” in Isla Vista is a bit exhausting, since the “Isla Vista Market” located on site has very high prices. I had to take the bus every week to go to Goleta (10 minutes by bus) and shop there in the large supermarket chains. Here again the tip that you should get a free customer card at “Albertsons” (large supermarket chain). I’ve saved about $100 in my entire time there by doing the same.
My total expenses for the semester just behind me amounted to about 9,000 – 10,000 € without travel (which you probably do here though).
But when you travel, you break through this sound barrier very quickly.
Apartments average $650-700 p.p. Month
Weekly purchases are around $20-25
Course costs 2011: Academic around $1100 per course (4 units)
My personal opinion of the semester abroad at UCSB is consistently positive. I would recommend everyone to spend a semester or two here. If you like partying and meeting new people, this is 100% the right place for you.
Note: In 2011 there were a lot of Germans in Isla Vista (about 80% of the hours abroad – extension)